The initial concept and development of a low-cost, adaptable method for the measurement of static and dynamic aeroelastic deformation of aircraft during flight testing is presented. The method is adapted from a proven technique used in wind tunnel testing to measure model deformation, often referred to as the videogrammetric model deformation (or VMD) technique. The requirements for in-flight measurements are compared and contrasted with those for wind tunnel testing. The methodology for the proposed measurements and differences compared with that used for wind tunnel testing is given. Several error sources and their effects are identified. Measurement examples using the new technique, including change in wing twist and deflection as a function of time, from an F/A-18 research aircraft at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center are presented.
Interferometric reconstruction of a flow field usually consists of three steps. The first is to record interferograms, the second is to extract phase information from interferograms and the final is for numerical inversion of the phase data. In interferometric flow recording, test section enclosures and opaque models are frequently present, blocking a portion of the probing rays or restricting the view angle of the field to produce a partial data set especially for interferometric tomography. It also involves very harsh environments with external vibrations and disturbances of the ambient air. The ill-posed problem is susceptible to experimental noise and can produce serious distortions in reconstruction. Interferometric reconstruction of flow fields thus needs accurate phase information extraction. The major problem encountered in interferometry is that it is extremely sensitive to external disturbances including the vibration of the optical setup. This is true especially for aerodynamic wind tunnel testing. For successful application of interferometry to experimental fluid mechancis and heat/mass transfer, efficient mechanisms for accurate flow-field recording and information extraction are thus very necessary. In interferometric recording, use of the phase stepping techniques is desirable whenever possible, since they provide the most accuracy. However, they are not applicable under disturbing conditions; that is, under harsh environments. In an effort to provide accurate interferometric data, we device interferogram recording and reduction techniques. They are based on a phase-stepping method: however, applicable to harsh environments including wind tunnel testing. Here we present the governing concepts, investigation results, and application demonstration of our approaches for practical flow measurements. The developed approaches are tested through phoase extraction and 3D reconstruction of an experimental flow field, which is designed for future wind tunnel testing. The test conditions are very harsh, involving building vibrations and ambient air disturbances especially during the interferometric data acquisition in the phase stepping process. The results of the thermocouple readings agree fairly well with those from the experiment when compared. The acceptable error in the entire interferometric reconstruction process is believed to be mainly due to the ill-posed nature of the tomographic reconstruction but not from the phase extraction of the employed phase-stepping technique.
Northrop Grumman Corporation built and twice tested a 30 percent scale wind tunnel model of a proposed uninhabited combat air vehicle under the DARPA/AFRL Smart Materials and Structures Development - Smart Wing Phase 2 program to demonstrate the applicability of smart control surfaces on advanced aircraft configurations. The model constructed was a full span, sting mounted model with smart leading and trailing edge control surfaces on the right wing and conventional, hinged trailing edge control surfaces on the left wing. Among the performance benefits that were quantified were increased pitching moment, increased rolling moment and improved pressure distribution of the smart wing over the conventional wing. This paper present an overview of the result from the wind tunnel test performed at NASA Langley Research Center's Transonic Dynamic Tunnel in March 2000 and May 2001. Successful results included: (1) improved aileron effectiveness at high dynamic pressures, (2) demonstrated improvements in lateral and longitudinal effectiveness with smooth contoured smart trailing edge over conventional hinged control surfaces, (3) chordwise and spanwise shape control of the smart trailing edge control surface, and (4) smart trailing edge control surface deflection rates over 80 deg/sec.
A videogrammetric technique developed at NASA Langley Research Center has been used at five NASA facilities at the Langley and Ames Research Centers for deformation measurements on a number of sting mounted and semispan models. These include high-speed research and transport models tested over a wide range of aerodynamic conditions including subsonic, transonic, and supersonic regimes. The technique, based on digital photogrammetry, has been used to measure model attitude, deformation, and sting bending. In addition, the technique has been used to study model injection rate effects and to calibrate and validate methods for predicting static aeroelastic deformations of wind tunnel models. An effort is currently underway to develop an intelligent videogrammetric measurement system that will be both useful and usable in large production wind tunnels while providing accurate data in a robust and timely manner. Designed to encode a higher degree of knowledge through computer vision, the system features advanced pattern recognition techniques to improve automated location and identification of targets placed on the wind tunnel model to be used for aerodynamic measurements such as attitude and deformation. This paper will describe the development and strategy of the new intelligent system that was used in a recent test at a large transonic wind tunnel.
Video Model Deformation (VMD) and Projection Moire Interferometry (PMI) were used to acquire wind tunnel model deformation measurements of the Northrop Grumman-built Smart Wing tested in the NASA Langley Transonic Dynamics Tunnel. The F18-E/F platform Smart Wing was outfitted with embedded shape memory alloys to actuate a seamless trailing edge aileron and flat, and an embedded torque tube to generate wing twist. The VMD system was used to obtain highly accurate deformation measurements at three spanwise locations along the main body of the wing, and at spanwise locations on the flap and aileron. The PMI system was used to obtain full-field wing shape and deformation measurements over the entire wing lower surface. Although less accurate than the VMD system, the PMI system revealed deformations occurring between VMD target rows indistinguishable by VMD. This paper presents the VMD and PMI techniques and discusses their application in the Smart Wing test.
To quantify the benefits of smart materials and structures adaptive wing technology. Northrop Grumman Corp. built and tested two 16 percent scale wind tunnel models of a fighter/attach aircraft under the DARPA/AFRL/NASA Smart Materials and Structures Development - Smart Wing Phase 1. Performance gains quantified included increased pitching moment, increased rolling moment and improved pressure distribution. The benefits were obtained for hingeless, contoured trailing edge control surfaces with embedded shape memory alloy wires and spanwise wing twist effected by SMA torque tube mechanism, compared to convention hinged control surfaces. This paper presents an overview of the results from the second wind tunnel test performed at the NASA Langley Research Center's 16 ft Transonic Dynamic Tunnel in June 1998. Successful results obtained were: 1) 5 degrees of spanwise twist and 8-12 percent increase in rolling moment utilizing a single SMA torque tube, 2) 12 degrees of deflection, and 10 percent increase in rolling moment due to hingeless, contoured aileron, and 3) demonstration of optical techniques for measuring spanwise twist and deflected shape.
Videometric measurements in wind tunnels can be very challenging due to the limited optical access, model dynamics, optical path variability during testing, large range of temperature and pressure, hostile environment, and the requirements for high productivity and large amounts of data on a daily basis. Other complications for wind tunnel testing include the model support mechanism and stringent surface finish requirements for the models in order to maintain aerodynamic fidelity. For these reasons nontraditional photogrammetric techniques and procedures sometimes must be employed. In this paper several such applications are discussed for wind tunnels which include test conditions with Mach numbers from low speed to hypersonic, pressures from less than an atmosphere to nearly seven atmospheres, and temperatures from cryogenic to above room temperature. Several of the wind tunnel facilities are continuous flow while one is a short duration blow-down facility. Videometric techniques and calibration procedures developed to measure angle of attack, the change in wing twist and bending induced by aerodynamic load, and the effects of varying model injection rates are described. Some advantages and disadvantages of these techniques are given and comparisons are made with non-optical and more traditional video photogrammetric techniques.
Measurement of an instantaneous flow field by interferometric tomography, that is, reconstruction of a 3D refractive-index field from multidirectional projection data, has ben conducted. In order to simulate the expected experimental arrangement at a wind tunnel, reconstructions are made from a restricted view angle less than 40 degrees and incomplete projections. In addition, appreciable ambient air and experimental setup disturbances are present. A new phase-stepping technique, based on a generalized phase-stepping approach of a four- bucket model, is applied for expeditious and accurate phase information extraction from projection interferograms under the harsh environments. Phase errors caused by the various disturbances, which can include ambient refractive-index change, optical component disturbance, hologram repositioning error, etc., are partially compensated with a linear corrective model. A new computational tomographic technique based on a series expansion approach was also utilized to efficiently deal with arbitrary boundary shapes and the continuous flow fields in reconstruction. The results of the preliminary investigation are encouraging; however, the technique needs to be further developed in the future through refinement of the approaches reported here and through hybridization with previously developed techniques.
This report summarizes an investigation of zoom lens calibration, with emphasis on the effects of lens-image-plane misalignment. Measurements have been made of the photogrammetric principal point and radial (symmetrical) and decentering (asymmetrical) distortion components as a function of the principal distance (zoom setting) of several zoom lenses. Data were also taken with the axis of symmetry (optical axis) of a zoom lens aligned and misaligned to the same solid-state video camera. An explanation is offered regarding the variation of the principal point as a function of zoom setting based on these measurements. In addition the relationship of the decentering distortion to radial distortion, principal distance, and lens- image-plane misalignment angle is discussed. A technique for determining the proper point of symmetry to be used for distortion computations (as opposed to the principal point) is also suggested. A simple technique for measuring the misalignment angle of zoom lenses when attached to video cameras is presented, along with measurements for seven solid-state cameras. A method to reduce the additional error introduced by zoom lens misalignment is presented. The implications of this study are that special measures to properly align a zoom lens to the sensor image plane are probably not necessary, but that as the accuracy obtainable in digital photogrammetry approaches the 0.01 or less pixel level, additional calibration including the point of symmetry for distortion computation should be considered.
Some techniques for laboratory calibration and characterization of video cameras used with frame grabber boards are presented. A laser-illuminated displaced reticle technique (with camera lens removed) is used to determine the camera/grabber effective horizontal and vertical pixel spacing as well as the angle of non-perpendicularity of the axes. The principal point of autocollimation and point of symmetry are found by illuminating the camera with an unexpanded laser beam, either aligned with the sensor or lens. Lens distortion and the principal distance are determined from images of a calibration plate suitably aligned with the camera. Calibration and characterization results for several video cameras are presented. Differences between these laboratory techniques and test range and plumb line calibration are noted.